http://www.satnews.com/cgi-bin/story.cgi?number=1074181768

[SatNews] GTX Corp (OTCBB: GTXO) has announced today that the patented GPS tracking “Smart Shoe” will be…
…commercially available in the U.K and Ireland this month. The Shoes , known as the Aetrex Navistar ™ GPS Shoes, will be made under license by Aetrex Worldwide, Inc., a global manufacturer and leader in comfort footwear, and will be distributed by Tipp Toes, a long-time Aetrex Worldwide distributor located in Ireland.

The Alzheimer’s Society in the U.K estimates there are 800,000 people in the U.K. and Ireland afflicted with Alzheimer’s and Dementia and are prone to wandering. Statistics show that if not found within the first 24 hours, over 50 percent may be found seriously harmed. A unique monitoring solution to help caregivers find their loved ones quickly is entering the market this month.

The patented GTX Corp technology in the Aetrex Navistar ™GPS Shoes enable the wearer to be monitored remotely, there by helping to ensure their safety, providing peace of mind to their caregivers, and reducing the cost of remote oversight. The GPS Shoes are embedded with a miniaturized proprietary module, which contains the locator’s integrated GPS / Cellular chipset and the SIM card that is unique to each wearer.

The GPS Shoes communicate via EE’s cellular network and sends location coordinates via a wireless data connection, similar to sending SMS messages on a cell phone. If the wearer of the GPS Shoes wanders outside of a pre-set location determined by the caregiver, an SMS or e -mail message will alert the caregiver instantly. The GPS Shoes have been heralded by healthcare and technology authorities around the world and is featured in the “100 Most Important Inventions of Mankind” Exhibit in the National Museum of Science and Technology in Sweden. To date, caregivers who have used the Aetrex Navistar ™GPS Shoes are saying the following:

Sylvia Lett lived in fear every time her father, wandered away from home. “The Aetrex GPS Shoes that we purchased for our father is the best investment we have made. My father has always been a sharp dresser and he loved how the shoes looked. His exact response was these shoes look rather snappy. My father can still walk 5 miles a day on a nice day. The problem is he forgets how to get back and gets lost taking different ways. The shoes have made our lives 1000 times better. Just knowing he is safe now with the GPS shoes bring me to tears of gladness.”

The Aetrex Navistar ™ GPS Shoes can make a major contribution to the worthy and socially beneficial goal of keeping seniors safe while prolonging their stay in their own homes.

GTX Corp Brings GPS Shoes for Alzheimer’s to UK, Ireland

by GPS World Staff on October 11, 2012 in Consumer OEM News, Public Safety
GTX Corp has announced today that its patented GPS tracking smart shoe will be commercially available in the U.K and Ireland this month. The Aetrex Navistar GPS shoes will be made under license by comfort footwear maker Aetrex Worldwide, Inc., and will be distributed by Tipp Toes, an Aetrex Worldwide distributor located in Ireland.

The Alzheimer’s Society in the U.K estimates there are 800,000 people in the UK and Ireland afflicted with Alzheimer’s and Dementia who are prone to wandering. Statistics show that if not found within the first 24 hours, more than half may be found seriously harmed. The GPS technology embedded inside comfortable walking shoes designed for seniors were first introduced in the U.S. and Australia. EE, the UK digital communications company, will be the wireless SIM provider for the GPS shoes after having recently signed a global contract with GTX Corp that will enable the shoes to work in more than 50 countries across the globe which utilize the GSM network.

The shoe wearer can be monitored remotely, thereby helping to ensure their safety, providing peace of mind to their caregivers and reducing the cost of remote oversight. The shoes are embedded with a miniaturized proprietary module that contains the locator’s integrated GPS/cellular chipset and the SIM card unique to each wearer. The GPS shoes communicate via EE’s cellular network and sends location coordinates via a wireless data connection, similar to sending SMS messages on a cell phone. If the wearer wanders outside of a pre-set location determined by the caregiver, an SMS or email message will alert the caregiver instantly.

The GPS shoes have been heralded by healthcare and technology authorities around the world and is featured in the “100 Most Important Inventions of Mankind” Exhibit in the National Museum of Science and Technology in Sweden.

Aging services technology study identifies available technologies for Cognitive Impairment and evidence of their benefits.
On page 69 the GPS Shoe is identified as a solution and discusses GPS monitoring technology:
In addition to their utility in detecting cognitive impairment, activity-monitoring technologies have also been used among people with established cognitive deficits. One example of this application is among patients who engage in dangerous behaviors such as wandering and elopement (Altus et al., 2000). Monitoring technologies mitigate the risks associated with these behaviors by facilitating remote patient monitoring. This approach not only provides physical security to the patient, but it also provides emotional security to caregivers and reduces caregiver burden by allowing the caregiver to monitor a loved one from a location of their choosing. A variety of technologies can be employed in patient monitoring systems. These include global positioning systems (GPS), radio frequency (RF) transmitters, and cellular-based tracking devices. In one system, a GPS is embedded in shoes that allow the user’s location to be tracked with a secure subscriber’s portal. Other systems integrate more than one technology to address these behaviors. Assisted GPS systems (AGPS), which combine GPS and cellular tracking functionalities, can provide greater accuracy, availability, and coverage than standard GPS (Djuknic and Richton, 2001).

http://www.gtxcorp.com/sites/default/files/AgingServicesTechnologies-CongressionalReport.pdf

http://www.gtxcorp.com/sites/default/files/ValueRich-GTXO-Interview-09-2012.pdf

GLX VALUE RICH MAGAZINE – Sept. 2012 – Interview with Patrick Bertagna
The latest data from the Alzheimer’s Association show that 5.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. By 2030, that number is anticipated to be 8 million — if no medical cure is found — the number of afflicted boomers is expected to grow beyond 20 million by 2050. In addition to the enormous personal and financial impact on the their caregivers, local search and recovery through law enforcement and first responders will be financially impacted as well, due to nearly sixty percent of dementia victims who will wander or get lost at least once
and if not found within a day, up to half will be found dead or seriously harmed.
Read the full article

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/un-urges-protection-elderly-world-grays#o

In this Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 photo, elderly women rinse their mouths with holy water at a shrine in Tokyo. The U.N. Population Fund has urged governments to build safety nets to ensure that older people have income security and access to essential health and social services as the world’s elderly population grows. The U.N. agency said discrimination toward and poverty among the aged are still far too prevalent in many countries. It released its report Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 in Tokyo, capital of the world’s fastest-aging country. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

In this Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 photo, elderly women rest at a shrine in Tokyo. The U.N. Population Fund has urged governments to build safety nets to ensure that older people have income security and access to essential health and social services as the world’s elderly population grows. The U.N. agency said discrimination toward and poverty among the aged are still far too prevalent in many countries. It released its report Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 in Tokyo, capital of the world’s fastest-aging country. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

In this Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 photo, an elderly woman speaks on her mobile phone at a shrine in Tokyo. The U.N. Population Fund has urged governments to build safety nets to ensure that older people have income security and access to essential health and social services as the world’s elderly population grows. The U.N. agency said discrimination toward and poverty among the aged are still far too prevalent in many countries. It released its report Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 in Tokyo, capital of the world’s fastest-aging country. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
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TOKYO (AP) — The fast aging of Japanese society is evident as soon as one lands at Tokyo’s Narita airport and sees who is doing the cleaning. Young people tend to take such menial jobs in other countries, but here they are often held by workers obviously in the second half-century of their lives.

Having the world’s highest percentage of older people is creating unique challenges for Japan, but a report released Monday by the U.N. Population Fund warns that they will not be unique for long. Japan is the only country with 30 percent of its population over 60, but by 2050 more than 60 other countries, from China to Canada to Albania, will be in the same boat.

The report urges governments to summon the political will to protect the elderly and ensure they can age with good health and dignity. Discrimination toward and poverty among the aged are still far too prevalent in many countries, it says, even in the relatively wealthy industrialized nations.

The problem is worse for women, whose access to jobs and health care is often limited throughout their lives, along with their rights to own and inherit property.

“More must be done to expose, investigate and prevent discrimination, abuse and violence against older persons, especially women who are more vulnerable,” the report says, calling on countries to “ensure that aging is a time of opportunity for all.”

“We need bold political leadership,” said Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the Population Fund. “Aging is manageable, but first it must be managed.”

In some countries, such as Latvia and Cyprus, about half of those over 60 are living in poverty. And even in highly industrialized countries such as Japan the elderly struggle to get some services.

Hisako Tsukida, a 77-year-old retired elementary school teacher in Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto, is living what sounds like a dream retirement life, taking tai chi and flower arrangement lessons and visiting a fitness center for spa treatments and muscle training.

But her current leisure followed many years of caring for her ailing husband and then for her mother. Japan’s elderly often take on enormous burdens in caring for older relatives at home.

Tsukida spent years trying to find a nursing home for her mother, now 100, and finally succeeded about six months ago after a rare vacancy opened up. But now she wonders about the time when she’ll have to go through the same struggle for herself.

“I wonder if I could do this again when I’m even older and need to find myself a place to go,” she said.

The U.N. report said that policy discussions of all kinds must include a consideration of problems facing the aging if mankind is to reap a “longevity benefit” from people’s longer life expectancies.

Governments should build safety nets to ensure older people have income security and access to essential health and social services, it said. The report cited data from the International Labor Organization showing that only about a fifth of all workers get comprehensive social insurance.

Aging is no longer solely an issue for rich countries. About two-thirds of people over 60 years old live in developing countries such as China, and by 2050 that figure is expected to rise to about 80 percent.

One in nine people — 810 million — are 60 or older, a figure projected to rise to one in five — or more than 2 billion — by 2050.

Even Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, offers only meager social benefits, though government-subsidized services provide affordable household help and daycare in some areas.

Neighbors and religious groups often help older people, and public facilities have been vastly improved from a few decades ago, with elevators and other handicapped access now the norm.

The discovery earlier this year, though, that an aged couple and their son apparently had starved to death in their home in a Tokyo suburb highlighted Japan’s own growing problems with poverty and unemployment.

Growing numbers of people suffering from dementia pose another challenge. About 35.6 million people around the world were afflicted with the disease in 2010, a number growing about 7.7 million a year and costing about $604 billion worldwide.

Provisions must be made for the infirm to ensure their basic human rights, the U.N. report says.

In many countries, including the United States, India, Brazil and Mexico, statistics show the elderly often pay more into pension systems over their lifetimes than they receive in return. Meanwhile, as retirement ages are raised and benefits cut due to ballooning deficits, the elderly are paying proportionately more in taxes.

The report blamed a bias toward youth in mass media, which stereotype aging as a time of decline, for lowering expectations about life for older people. It noted that older people often live highly productive, enjoyable lives if they have good health and reasonable levels of income.

The report’s authors also argued against a prevalent belief that older workers should make way for younger job seekers, saying that way of thinking is based on the mistaken idea that there is a finite number of jobs and that workers are perfectly interchangeable.

“More jobs for older people do not mean fewer jobs for younger people,” it says.

___

Associated Press Writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report.

___

U.N. Population Fund: http://www.unfpa.org

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2012/09/finally-shoes-gps/3335/

Last week, a British artist named Dominic Wilcox fashioned a pair of leather shoes that had the design world buzzing with admiration. Wilcox’s shoes, a collaborative effort with Stamp Shoes to celebrate the shoemaking history of England’s Northhamptonshire region, are impeccably stylish – red stitching on gray calf-skin leather, sleek wood heel support, playful designs etched into the soles. What attracted the most attention, though, is that there’s a GPS module located in the heel of the left shoe. With an array of LED lights embedded in the fabric, these shoes can literally point your way home.

News of Wilcox’s project, titled “No Place Like Home” (he was inspired by The Wizard of Oz), found its way to Patrick Bertagna. “What they’re doing is perhaps novel and interesting,” Bertagna says, “but it’s a far cry from our model.”

Bertagna has spent the last decade trying to equip shoes with navigational systems. His company, GTX, has done other navigation technology projects in the interim, but always with footwear on the horizon. This January, in partnership with New Jersey shoe company Aetrex, GTX introduced the Navistar, their first line of GPS-enabled shoes.

At the time, the technology did not exist. “It was like people in the 1950s saying we want to go to the moon,” Bertagna recalls.

The announcement did not make waves on the design blogs, perhaps because these shoes are explicitly aimed – in marketing and in design – at a historically unhip group, one that Bertagna feels most needs Global Positioning System technology beneath its feet: the elderly.

“There’s probably about six million people who have Alzheimer’s and dementia – 35 million worldwide, and that’s supposed to grow to 100 million in the next few decades,” says Bertagna. “That’s a vast number of people of which a vast majority wander off.”

The Navistar line, which includes four models for each gender, two in white and two in black, is designed to help caregivers and children keep a hidden eye on grandparents. The shoes transmit navigation data to a computer system that delivers it to the caregiver, who can set up the system online with an electronic perimeter – what Bertagna calls a geofence — that sends an SMS to his or her phone when the boundary has been crossed. A pair costs $299, and the Tracking Plan is an additional $34.99 per month.

The importance of this idea, Bertagna believes, lies in the subtlety of the device. “A lot of people with cognitive disorders have forms of paranoia, so you don’t want to get them scared,” he says. He thinks similarly equipped shoes could have a variety of uses, from law enforcement to dangerous diplomatic missions. The shoes are doubly covert: they can hide the location technology from the wearer, or from a nefarious stranger. Or potentially from both.

Bertagna first got the idea after 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped near Salt Lake City in 2002. “We thought, ‘There’s got to be a better way to keep an eye on kids.’”

But at the time, the technology didn’t exist. “It was like people in the 1950s saying we want to go to the moon,” Bertagna recalls. “Every engineer I spoke to, I’d say I wanted a device the size of a Zippo lighter, three or four days battery life, for a few hundred dollars. They’d say they could get one for a thousand dollars, with eight hours of battery life, the size of a shoebox.” And making shoes for children proved challenging. They run, they step in puddles, and their feet grow rapidly. So Bertagna and his team turned to the elderly. They hope to have a model for kids out soon.

Engineering improvements have not only made Bertagna’s first run possible, they’ve also opened up the technology to experimenters like Wilcox. Becky Stewart, an audio expert at Codasign, helped Wilcox with the technology, and when I talked to her on the phone she made the tech sound fairly simple, at least in the hands of a couple of competent designers. The left shoe has the hardware, a GPS chip and a small radio transmitter to coordinate with the right shoe, or as she put it, “the dumb shoe.” If you put in a destination using a USB attachment, the LEDs on one shoe indicates the direction, while a bar on the other indicates how far you have to go.

It remains to be seen whether such a device, if mass produced, would conflict with the 70+ patents and patents pending that Bertagna and GTX have filed over the years. It’s also not clear if regular people would really buy these, though the interest in Tom Loois’ Blank Ways project seems to indicate that at least some readers of this website would like to track their own movements. And while GPS has gotten cheaper, a chip still costs about $50, and installation takes time, money and ingenuity. A pair of Aetrex shoes and a yearlong subscription to the Tracking Plan costs more than $700.

Even as prices go down, though, will kids be willing to give up their Air Force Ones to wear shoes that allow mommy and daddy to keep an eye on them?

Top image courtesy of GTX.

But last year for the first time, another type of search crossed into first place here in Virginia, marking a profound demographic shift that public safety officials say will increasingly define the future as the nation ages: wandering, confused dementia patients like Freda Machett.

Ms. Machett, 60, suffers from a form of dementia that attacks the brain like Alzheimer’s disease and imposes on many of its victims a restless urge to head out the door. Their journeys, shrouded in a fog of confusion and fragmented memory, are often dangerous and not infrequently fatal. About 6 in 10 dementia victims will wander at least once, health care statistics show, and the numbers are growing worldwide, fueled primarily by Alzheimer’s disease, which has no cure and affects about half of all people over 85.

“It started with five words — ‘I want to go home’ — even though this is her home,” said Ms. Machett’s husband, John, a retired engineer who now cares for his wife full time near Richmond. She has gone off dozens of times in the four years since receiving her diagnosis, three times requiring a police search. “It’s a cruel disease,” he said.

Rising numbers of searches are driving a need to retrain emergency workers, police officers and volunteers around the country who say they throw out just about every generally accepted idea when hunting for people who are, in many ways, lost from the inside out.

“You have to stop thinking logically, because the people you’re looking for are no longer capable of logic,” said Robert B. Schaefer, a retired F.B.I. agent who cared for his wife, Sarah, for 15 years at home through her journey into Alzheimer’s. He now leads two-day training sessions for the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.

Mr. Schaefer told his class of mostly police officers here in northern Virginia that unlike the ordinary lost child or hiker, a dementia wanderer will sometimes take evasive action to avoid detection, especially if the disease has made them paranoid about authority figures.

“We’ve found them in attics and false ceilings, in locked closets — you name it,” said Gene Saunders, a retired police officer from Chesapeake.

Wanderers often follow fence or power lines, and tend to be drawn toward water, Virginia state rescue officials said, bound on a mission that only they — and sometimes perhaps not even they — can imagine. (A search trick: try to figure what door they exited from, then concentrate first in that direction. But don’t bother calling out the person’s name, which he or she has often forgotten.)

Searching for them often also means learning a patient’s life story as well, including what sort of work they did, where they went to school and whether they fought in war. Because Alzheimer’s disease, the leading cause of dementia, works backward, destroying the most recent memories first, wanderers are often traveling in time as well as space.

Some World War II veterans, for example, have gone huge distances believing they needed to report to base or the front lines. A man in Virginia was lost for days until searchers, in interviews with his family, learned he had long ago been a dairy farmer, rescue officials said. It turned out he had headed for a cow pasture not far from his home, believing it was time for the morning milking.

The all-too-human stories of exhausted family members caring for Alzheimer’s sufferers must be taken in account as well, searchers say. The son or daughter or spouse who nodded off or was briefly inattentive, allowing a loved one to slip out, might feel guilty, and so understate, sometimes by many hours, how long the person has been gone — a crucial variable because time on the run in turn hugely increases the potential size of the search area.

Meanwhile, cold cases are piling up.

In Arizona, James Langston, the state’s search and rescue coordinator at the Division of Emergency Management, is haunted by the stories of people who simply stride out into the desert in high summer and vanish. A few years ago, a 20,000-square-mile area was searched after an Alzheimer’s patient’s car was found on a dirt road at the desert’s edge, he said. No trace of the person was ever found.

Advanced age, meanwhile, can compound health risks of exposure.

“We’ve had them die in as little as seven hours because they just keep going and don’t recognize they’re getting dehydrated,” Mr. Langston said.

Many states do not collect or fully categorize local data on search-and-rescue cases, so it is impossible to gauge the full impact of dementia wandering on law enforcement. But in Oregon, for example, the number of searches for lost male Alzheimer’s patients nearly doubled just last year, to 26 from 14 in 2008, and has more than tripled since 2006, according to emergency management officials.

For many people involved in those searches — or in training rescuers for the demographic tsunami to come — the turbulent emotions and grief that swirl around Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are simply part of the terrain. In the middle of his training courses, Mr. Schaefer sometimes pauses, choked up by memories of his wife, who received her Alzheimer’s diagnosis at age 50. She died 17 years later, having forgotten how to swallow, he said, and then finally, even how to breathe.

On a recent afternoon at the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy, Mr. Schaefer told his class about the day he asked her if she knew who he was. He had taken steps by then to keep Ms. Schaefer from wandering away, disguising their home’s doors, for one thing, covering them with posters that looked like bookshelves.

But now he could see the panic and horror in her eyes, he said, that she could not find the right answer to his question. Could she recognize her own husband?

“No,” she answered. “But you take very good care of me.”

For John McClelland, 57, a retired volunteer fire and rescue officer who now leads training courses in Colorado, the story is even more personal: He has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s himself. The disease killed his grandfather and three other people on that side of the family. He said he has already lost the ability to remember the faces of new acquaintances, even a day after meeting them.

Knowing what is coming for him as the fatal disease takes its course has made his training work all the more important and urgent, he said.

“The mission I’m on is that I’m willing to talk about Alzheimer’s as long as I’m articulate,” he said. “The hell of the disease is that I know what’s coming.”

By KIRK JOHNSON

Published NYT: May 4, 2010

 

GPS Sneakers The Latest Development In Managing Elopements

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) devices are no longer just for cars and cell phones. They can help caregivers find residents with memory problems who have eloped.  Providers can protect people who are at risk for elopement and allow caregivers to keep an eye on residents within a certain geographic area, thanks to a new sneaker equipped with a GPS.

Ambulators by Aetrex have a GPS locator inserted into the right heel. People at the Los Angeles-based GTX Corp. invented the technology and own the GPS shoe patent, which was originally developed for children and marathon runners.  Enter a university professor with experience in assisted living administration who contacted GTX and sold the company on the idea of making the shoes for seniors in assisted living.

“The target audience for the sneakers is residents in traditional assisted living who do not require the full services of a memory care program, but may be at risk for becoming confused and elope,” says Andrew Carle, executive in residence for the Senior Housing Administration program at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

GTX was sold on the idea. It hired Carle as a consultant and got to work, licensing the manufacturing to Aetrex, a large retailer of wellness shoes. In January, Aetrex began selling the GPS sneakers on its website for $299. GTX provides the monitoring service, and the fee ranges between $35 and $40 per month.

”"   ”"   ”"

Once purchased, assisted living staff can set the geographic parameters for the resident wearing the sneakers.  If the resident walks outside the geographic zone, GTX sends a text or e-mail with an attached Google map indicating the resident’s location. Since the GPS device is powered by a battery, it needs recharging every night. The sneakers come with a charger that plugs into the back heel of the sneaker.

The biggest benefit of the sneakers is that residents view the sneakers as a shoe and not a device that is monitoring them.

One of the last things to go in Alzheimer’s patients is their habitual or procedural memory, says Carle,

which includes dressing themselves, so putting on a shoe is not unusual for them. Carle says the sneakers are less likely to be taken off because residents think they are putting on a regular shoe. He’s known residents

who wear monitoring wrist bracelets or other devices to become paranoid and try to rip off the device. The sneakers avoid triggering those feelings, and, therefore, the sneakers remain on their feet and maximize the chances of finding them if they wander, he says.

Some of the largest assisted living companies have shown interest in purchasing the sneakers for their residents.  While Carle recommends that the sneakers be used for residents with early to mid-stage memory problems, a few of those companies have told him they would purchase the sneakers for late-stage Alzheimer residents.

“Every community could make a choice of whether they want to offer the shoes as an add-on service or recommend that a resident or the family member purchase the shoe,” he says.

For more information, visit Aetrex at www.aetrex.com 

GPS shoes on Univision aired 6/28/2012- started from 4:00

Univision TV in Miami featured the Navistar GPS footwear System on their morning program Despierta America, a top Spanish language morning show comparable to Good Morning America with over 1.8 million viewers.

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